Bearded vultures are known mainly because of their peculiar food – the diet of an adult comprises about 80% of bones, and their unique foraging behaviour – they often break big bones over favoured rocky slopes.
This fact is known since the classical times – the Greek playwright Aeschilus – the father of the Tragedy genre, was said to have been killed in 456 or 455 BC by a tortoise dropped by a big bird of prey who mistook his bald head for a stone – probably a bearded vulture?
Recently however, a source in the French Pyrenees (Mickaël Kaczmar, ONF Ariège) reported a rare story. A local family in one of the villages there was suddenly bolted by a very loud bang on their roof. When they went to investigate, they found a large broken bone and three broken roof tiles! While bearded vultures fly regularly above their village, this bone-braking behaviour over urban areas had not been seen – maybe the bearded vulture was being harassed by some ravens or something other?